Friday, July 30, 2010

Day Eighty-Six

Actual Date: Saturday, June 19, 2010Welp, we made it home after 22 hours on the road. The kids did great but Mommy and Daddy were very tired. It was so exciting to be home. Our house felt huge when we walked in after not being here for a month. The kids were the funnest to watch though. Brooke and Ava were running from room to room screaming with joy. They would pick something up and say "Oh remember this?!", "Here's you're rocking horse Ava! Remember?" Then they went in their rooms and got excited about their beds.

It was a good half hour before they settled down enough to even play with their toys. It was one of the cutest things I have ever seen. They were so darn excited.

We had be been home for about an hour when I hear Ava scream the most excited scream I've ever heard yell. I jumped up to see what she had seen. Then she ran and grabbed something and turned around to show me, "My time out stool!" She stood there hugging it. Brian and I busted up laughing. Brian said "She's attached to that thing since she spends half of her life there." Ha ha. Little Avers, she's so cute and doesn't even know it.

Day Eighty-Five

Actual Date: Friday, June 18, 2010Pretty much sums up our day. We packed up and headed for home. It takes about 21 hours. The kids did pretty good. They were tired from all the running around we had been doing the past couple of weeks so they slept a lot which was nice.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day Eighty-Four

Actual Date: Thursday, June 17, 2010

Daddy and his girls

But first things first, Brooke needed a hair cut. She had so much fine baby hair on the ends still and it was always getting so tangled. So we decided it was time to chop it off and give her a big girl hair cut. And who better to trust to give her her first "real" hair cut than Auntie Chelsea.

Here's the before...

And here's the after!
Doesn't she look so much more grown up? We love it. It's so much easier to work with now and it even looks and feels thicker.After that it was time to get down to business. Nate set up the White Trash Slip-N-Slide and the kids went crazy. (p.s. So glad that you made it Jaime Face! The kids all had a blast together and it was good to see your Jaime Face one last time.)For those of you who don't know, the White Trash Slip-N-Slide is my family's version of a Slip-N-Slide. Through the years we have desecrated many brand name Slip-N-Slides. They just can't hold up to all the kids, and ok maybe the occasional parent, in our family. So for years now we have been using good old construction tarp and dish soap so that it's extra slippery. Look at cute little Johnny. This is his first exposure to the Slip-N-Slide experience. He doesn't quite know what to think. We'll win him over!You laugh but it has provided years and years of entertainment at countless parties and family events through the years. In fact, I'm not even sure if my kids have ever seen an actual Slip-N-Slide.

Oh my goodness I was so very excited because my cousin Ryley, who I haven't seen in forever, came with his Mom Sonja and his Nephew Johnny. It was so good to see them and meet little Johnny.
After some good clean Slip-N-Slide fun, it was time for a mud bath.

And Teree came too! Teree was my preschool teacher. Then when I grew up she was my Child Development teacher in High School. Her and my Mom have stayed friends through the years. I'm pretty sure I get my passion for Early Childhood Education from her. In fact after school I even taught at the same preschool that I attended, where Teree was my teacher. And I was her son Gregory's preschool teacher. How cool is that? Aww Brother/Sister love.After everyone left, Brooke and Garenn asked if they could have a camp out because it was our last night there. I figured sure why not. The more she stays up tonight, the more tired she'll be on the 21 hour car ride home right? So Chels and I set up a blanket tent for them in the living room, popped some pop corn turned on a movie.
What a great way to end an amazing trip. It's hard to believe how fast that trip went by. We waited for it for months and it felt like it was never going to happen. Now it's been months since we were there. Thank you everyone for the great memories. Can't wait to do it again next year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day Eighty-Three

Actual Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 We had to squeeze in one last beach day. Whenever Brian works out of the Mission Veijo office, they put him up in a hotel right on the beach. We had visited him one other time when he stayed there so I knew it would be the perfect spot to take all the kids because we could spend the day at the beach and walk back to the hotel and clean the kids up when they tuckered out. Which is exactly what we did.

And get this, Chelsea offered to take my kids home with her so that Brian and I could have a night alone together. Can you believe it?! I don't think we've had a whole night alone together in about 4 years.

We had a nice dinner at a little place on a cliff in Laguna.
Then after we walked around and found a cute little shop, and Brian bought me a ring and a necklace! I felt way to spoiled! A whole night alone with my husband who I adore and jewelry? How did I get so lucky? It was just what we needed to recharge our Daddy/Mommy batteries and remind us of what it was like when it was just the two of us.
This was on the floor in that cute little shop. I don't know why but I loved it.
And this was randomly on the sidewalk as we walked back to our car.

I think God signed his name at the end of that perfect day. Like it was his gift to us.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day Eighty-Two

Actual Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2010
At the park: Just a swingn'More fun with friends. We met with my Jaime face and her two kids, Kelly and Brady at the park so the kids could run around and play.Parker loved Kelly.Look at little Brady isn't he the sweetest little guy ever?Brooke and Kelly are best buddies, just like their Mama's. Now since we've been home for awhile they have become pen pals. It's so sweet.

After we finished up at the park I went home and put the kids down for a nap. They needed one after all that fun. My Grandma watched them for me while my Mom, Chelsea and I went to my Grandpa's house to check on him. Also my Mom had made a meeting for Pastor Larry to come pray for him.
These next few pictures are of my Mom holding Papa's hand. They speak to me of true devotion and a daughters love.
I am so proud of the way that my Mom has taken care of my Grandpa for these last years of his life. Her heart is a true servant's heart.Unfortunately Papa wasn't doing so well today. He was pretty much unresponsive, except for the few times when we were able to wake him up a little bit and he was able to whisper "Hi Sweetheart" and smile. When we were all sitting around talking, the guy who came with Pastor Larry was telling us a story about how "all the pretty girls" that like his son were trying to win him over with homemade pastries. Even though Papa had shown no signs of being aware that anyone else was even in the room he opened his eyes and said "All the pretty girls?" Ha, that's just like him, a jokester till the end. After a few hours we had to leave because I had an appointment to sell all of the baby equipment back to the Children's Orchard (I talked about my love for that store back on day Sixty-One) because we were heading home soon and would no longer be needing it. So for the last time I took the cool rag and whipped down his face and neck and he woke up a little. I told him "It's time for us to go now. I love you." And that's when he completely melted my heart. He looked right at me and said "Don't go yet." Then he closed his eyes again. I plopped right back down in my chair and held his hand, with tears streaming down my face.
For the past couple days we hadn't been really sure how aware or alert he was, but obviously he was aware enough to know that he didn't want to be alone. When we finally did get up to leave, I kissed his forehead and told him, "I love you." And he opened his eyes a little and whispered, "Love you."
As I write that it brings tears to my eyes. That was the last time I saw my Papa alive. Our trip to California had come to an end and the few days we had left were packed full. When I walked out that day I didn't fully understand that this was our last meeting, I don't think my mind had let me go there yet. But when I think about our last time together, it comforts me. I am so glad that we were able to have those last precious moments together. He passed away on July 6th. I am so grateful that he is at home with Jesus, and not suffering in his old tired body anymore.
The Broken Chain

We little knew that day,
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
In death, we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you,
You did not go alone.
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.

You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide.
And although we cannot see you,
Your are always at or side.

Our family chain is broken,
And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.

-Ron Tranmer-

Day Eighty-One

Actual Date: Monday, June 14, 2010
How much more perfect could this day have been? Pizza Factory Hawaiian pizza and visiting with friends!Vanessa playing with my little monsters.
I have known Vanessa since I think about 3rd grade. That's my first real memories of her at least. We've been great friends through the years. She even let me dye her hair in floral design class once, that's how much she trusts me. Those were some good times. I think it took exactly forever and a day for that red dye to come out of that blond hair!
Anyways, I had a ton of fun catching up with you Nessa! Get to planning that road trip. We'd love to have ya visit our neck of the woods. Brooke keeps telling everyone how "HER friend Vanessa loves to watch NASCAR like she does."And Heather and sweet little Belle came to visit too. We were lucky to get to see them before they make the big move to Japan to be with Belle's Daddy who is in the military. We'll miss you guys. Have fun in "Pan." (That's how Belle says Japan.) It's really weird to be away from "home" for so long and come back and hang out with your old friends at all your old hang outs. Especially when you take your kids along. It kinda feels like you never grew up and left, but at the same time the reality hits you of how much really has changed.

Day Eighty

Actual Date: Sunday, June 13, 2010
More family fun! We headed out to my Aunt Pat's house where she had some yummy spaghetti ready for us. Always good fun and good food in this house.

Pat and I Auntie Heather and Brooke
Messy face Ava (she liked the spaghetti too) and Great Grandma Helen.

Grandma Helen asked if she could borrow Ava's shoes because they were so cute. She was thinking about it.
Here's my Grandma Helen's hands. I love them.
I just had to share a story from my childhood when my Dad and my Uncle Chuck traumatized me. Haha Not really but I was pretty darn scared for a minute.
As you can see, Grams is missing her pinkie finger on her left hand. It had to be removed a long time ago because it had cancer in it. When I was little it was always fascinating to me that she was able to function without it. One day my Dad and Uncle came to me with this match box. They told me that they had contacted the hospital that had done my Grams surgery and that they had sent us the finger. When they opened that match box, there really was a finger laying on top of tissue!

I freaked out! And they laughed and laughed and chased me around the house with it. I grabbed the phone and called my Grandma and yelled "come get your finger!" Of course she didn't know what the heck I was talking about, so I told her that my Dad and Uncle had her finger in a box and they were chasing me with it. She laughed and said "They're tricking you."

Finally they fessed up and showed me that they had cut a hole in the bottom of the match box and laid some tissue over it. They were sticking their own fingers through the hole and pretending it was my Grandma's.

After hearing that story, is it any wonder that I turned out the way I did?

Here's Ava on Pat's bridge. "Look Mommy. No hands!"

Day Seventy-Nine

Actual Date: Saturday, June 12, 2010

What fun we had on this day. We were excited because Brian was flying in and we were finally going to get to see him after being apart for a few weeks! And we were double excited because it was the day of the El Mirage Frontier Day Parade. And we were triple excited because my Great Aunt and Uncle were going to visit all the way from Mexico where they are missionaries. We had a fun filled day ahead of us.

Here are the girls at the end of Gram's driveway, ready to watch the parade.

And they're off! Like a heard of turtles.
The kids loved that everyone was waving to them.
Did I mention I was in this parade when I was little?

Check out that little number.

These dancing horses were really cool I have to admit.And then this happened...

And we were all suddenly very confused.

A blue haired mermaid...

Waving a rainbow feather duster...

in the middle of the desert...Still not so sure but, moving on...
Then came the Fire Truck. And they gave the girls some cool hats! There were a few more things in the parade.

Not much though.

The whole thing lasted about 5 minutes.


But it was still fun to see the town come together and pull it off.

I'm still kinda sad that Brian's flight didn't get in early enough for us to make the Beer drinking contest at the Park after the parade.

And that is not a joke. They had a beer drinking contest listed on the flyer for the "family fun day."

*insert eye roll here*

Later in the afternoon, Brian got to my Grandma's house and we were all very excited to see him. The kids were running around like crazy because they could not contain themselves. It was so cute.

After that we headed over to my parents house where my Dad made an awesome dinner, as usual. And we visited with family. It was nice to see Gayl and Margaret again. We had seen them at the wedding a week ago, and at the rehearsal. What a treat.

Day Seventy-Eight

Actual Date: Friday, June 11, 2010

p.s. Check out the "Lady hair." Tanner's Grandpa has a shaggy dog dog named Lady. So now every time his hair gets tangled he says "I have Lady hair."

Can you believe it? These two are actually playing nicely and no one is bleeding! Guess they found their way of bonding, dress up.